Brief description of the Poison Squad experiments
THE "POISON SQUAD." To detect the presence of poison in food is one thing, to determine its effects quite another; and as the microscope had nothing but eyes, and the blow-pipe and retort of the analyst no stomach, and the brute no power of speech, man was called into service. Hence the "poison squad." The "poison squad" is made up of twelve young men, volunteers, who take their meals regularly at a table provided by the Bureau of Chemistry. All food consumed is carefully weighed and analyzed, and thus the entire income and outgo of the body is determined. The weight temperature and pulsation of the members are noted, and they are kept under a doctor's observation for the purpose of reporting medical data. Thus the influence of preservatives on man's digestion is determined. Let it be understood at the outset that no criticism of this method has appeared that the bureau did not fdrsee and seriously consider before the work was begun. The whole subject of the "poison squad" has been so' distorted in humorous newspaper articles that the public has been deprived of the true import of and the immensity of the scale on which this experiment has been conducted and the gravity of questions involved.